Extremely Fine Standing Cup & Cover
1880 or earlier
height: 36cm, weight: 1.076kg
This large example of Madras ‘Swami’ standing cup and cover is notable for the fineness of the silverwork – often Madras silverwork has good, clear forms but the detailing is not as crisp or as well formed as silverwork from elsewhere in India, but this piece is an exception: it is one of the finest examples of Madras silverwork that we have encountered. (‘Swami’ is a south Indian word for a Hindu idol.)
The domed lid comprises a rim with a floral border, a row of ‘swami’ figures within round cartouches, a wide leafy border against a fine tooled background and surmounted by a swami-like figure astride a lion.
The cup has two rococo-style handles beautifully formed with foliage scroll-work and entirely worked with a fine tooled background. The body has a central frieze of eight gods and goddesses astride their various
vahanas (Ganesh for example is shown atop a rat) all within elaborate leafy cartouches and against tooled backgrounds. The base of the cup has a wide fine acanthus leaf border. The stem has a lobe that is further decorated with swami figures. And the wide, splayed foot is worked with scrolling leaf and petal borders.
The condition of this piece is exceptional – there are no dents, splits and no obvious wear from polishing or cleaning. The piece is unmarked.
Inventory no.: 819